Home > Explore News > Story Map on Florida Deep Water Mapping Highlights NCCOS Spatial Prioritization Tool

Story Map on Florida Deep Water Mapping Highlights NCCOS Spatial Prioritization Tool

Published on: 05/31/2024
Primary Contact(s): ken.buja@noaa.gov

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is working in conjunction with NOAA's Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) Program to conduct a new spatial prioritization exercise for Florida waters between 20 and 200m depth. The study is using the Spatial Prioritization widget developed by NCCOS. The widget is a tool to gather mapping priorities from stakeholders in a study area. This customizable tool can be configured to identify not only the desired locations and the temporal priorities of the respondents, but also their rationales to justify these decisions or the type of mapping products they need. The data can be further analyzed to identify consensus areas of highest priority. 

Single weighted layer in ArcGIS Pro showing areas deemed important by participants. Darker areas indicate greater importance.

This study is a continuation of a  2019 prioritization study done by FCMaP in which two depth ranges were assessed: nearshore (0 to 20 m depth) and shelf (20 to 200m depth). The State of Florida has since been awarded $100 million in general revenue funds to capture statewide bathymetric lidar. The Florida Seafloor Mapping Initiative (FSMI) is designed with a focus on nearshore (0 to 20m depth) areas. During the FCMaP 2022 Annual Summit the community determined a further analysis of the deeper water areas (20 to 200m) and resulting products should be conducted as stakeholder needs for surveys and products may have shifted in response to storms, planned use, and funding.

The widget has previously been used in a number of NCCOS mapping prioritization projects in the US Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the West Coast, and Pacific regions. In addition, IOCM has previously used the tool in their nationwide spatial prioritization studies and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council used it to identify priority areas for new data collection and mapping in the Gulf of Maine.

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